Lymphedema risk with physical activities?


Question from Momm: I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node surgery Dec. 2007 and then had 13 more lymph nodes removed Jan. 30, 2008. I normally go to the gym 2-3 times a week and use the resistance machines. I also golf 9 holes regularly in the spring and summer months. My main fear now is lymphedema. Is it safe to continue doing these activities?
Answers - Linda Miller The important thing to remember is that most women do not get lymphedema. There's some new research that suggests that women who exercise regularly do not increase their incidence of lymphedema. So the key is to keep your activity level constant: do not dramatically increase either the resistance or the amount of exercise you're doing. Gradually, if you want to increase to playing a full round of golf or lifting more weights, the key is going about that increase in activity gradually.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called After Surgery: Short-term and Long-term Effects. Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answered your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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